Touring the Night Market - The Beijing Experience: Day 2.5

Saturday, August 30th (part 2)

I knew a food tour had to happen.  Food tours are non-negotiable at this point.  After hours of searching, looking and searching, I come across Hias Gourmet.  We had talked a about a food tour and Hias Gourmet was the one.  It ended up being perfect.  For ¥400 per person ($65 USD), we had a guide walk us around the craziness of the Wangfujing and Donghuamen Night Market, feeding us all kinds of food and drink we wouldn't have known to try.  

We met up with Jerry (his English name) and the other member of our tour, Max.  Max was visiting Beijing from Germany.  We hit the road and Jerry (seriously, if I knew how to spell his Chinese name, I'd use it going forward, but I don't.  So...sorry, Jerry!!) started us out early.  First, lamb on a stick (rolled in a combination of pepper and cumin - loved that), then plum juice.  And it kept going and going and going.  

Wangfujing Street

Plum juice.  We liked this so much we went looking for it later.

Lamb on a stick.  My favorite one.

Danielle is the vegetarian, so she got a few extra items.  Like corn!!

Ok, so we didn't try the bugs.

Cicadas and crickets.  We didn't try these either.  But they were there!!

Octopus balls.  We had actually tried these earlier in the day.

Drinks with dry ice in them.  The drink was pretty neat, but the taste...meh.  It was a fake juice kind of thing.  Nothing I'd spend money on.

Squid on a stick - uncooked.

Squid on a stick - cooked (and mostly eaten)

Jackfruit.  I loved this one.  
It was nice to have conversations with Jerry during the tour.  He asked us what we did and I said "Advertising."  I mean, I can barely explain to people whose native language is English what a "Media Buyer" is.  How was I going to explain it to Jerry??  So we got into the traditional "Mad Men" discussion.  Yes, advertising is still kind of like Mad Men (at least the drinking for Media Buyers part).  So I asked about their TV, which...I have still not turned on the TV here.  I have no idea what channels exist in hour room.  They have the state-run TV channels CCTV.  But he said the young Chinese citizens forego TV almost all together.  They don't trust the news.  Jerry joked that the only thing you can trust on the news is the time.  We had a good chuckle at that one.  He showed us the We Chat app, which is the Chinese version of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Foursquare all rolled together.  Pretty darn cool.

Donghuamen Street

Donghuamen Street is less crazed than Wangfujing Street.  But there were more beggars.

Getting ready for the shrimp spring rolls...

Eating the shrimp spring rolls...

Lamb Testicles.  Jerry joked about us trying testicles and Adele and  I were down for this one.  Jerry asked us several times if we were serious.  The more he asked, the more we were ready.  It was fine.  Not gross or anything.  We shamed Max into trying them.  He did, but ended up spitting out the testicle.  I guess balls aren't for everyone...

Danielle had a noodle soup during the testicle experience.

I didn't eat this quail egg dish.  But I wanted to.

Many meats and veggies on sticks, in a boiling hot and spicy broth.

Dumpling with chili...

Glazed fruit on a stick.  Mostly given to children.  We ate the little apple thingies.  They were not apples, but were super tasty.  Because, sugar.

Pineapple rice.  Loved, loved, loved this.
At a certain point, our tour had to come to an end.  We ate a lot and made plans to visit the Night Market tomorrow.  And we started our walk home.  I blame Adele for the next part of the story.  No sooner did we pass a cab and she said, "I don't know how much it would cost us to take this to the hotel, let's just walk" than the skies opened up and a thunderstorm of epic proportions rained down on us.  We pretty much had no choice in the matter.  We were walking home.  And we quickly learned Beijing has no drainage system for such rain.  We were slightly prepared for the rain.  I had an umbrella.  Fay had a poncho.  Adele had a rain jacket.  Danielle...used my umbrella.  But we weren't prepared for the street flooding.  And the speed in which the again poured down and the streets flooded...we could have been wearing a wet suit and still been ill-prepared.  So we walked.  Shoes were beyond soaked.  Clothing was see through by the end.  It was both funny and annoying.  And we really just hoped that our camera equipment and shoes were not destroyed.  

My shoes are purple.  Not this dark of a purple.

The dry part was where the messenger bag hung out.
Two days later and we're still hoping about the shoes.

But that is a story for another day...

Daily Stats - 31,429 steps, 13.51 miles


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